|Publication number||US7577865 B2|
|Application number||US 11/404,816|
|Publication date||Aug 18, 2009|
|Filing date||Apr 14, 2006|
|Priority date||Apr 14, 2006|
|Also published as||US20070260916|
|Publication number||11404816, 404816, US 7577865 B2, US 7577865B2, US-B2-7577865, US7577865 B2, US7577865B2|
|Inventors||Nam V. Nguyen, Jacob Cherian|
|Original Assignee||Dell Products L.P.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (3), Classifications (6), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present disclosure relates generally to computer systems and information handling systems, and, more particularly, to a system and method for failure recovery in a shared disk storage system.
As the value and use of information continues to increase, individuals and businesses seek additional ways to process and store information. One option available to these users is an information handling system. An information handling system generally processes, compiles, stores, and/or communicates information or data for business, personal, or other purposes thereby allowing users to take advantage of the value of the information. Because technology and information handling needs and requirements vary between different users or applications, information handling systems may vary with respect to the type of information handled; the methods for handling the information; the methods for processing, storing or communicating the information; the amount of information processed, stored, or communicated; and the speed and efficiency with which the information is processed, stored, or communicated. The variations in information handling systems allow for information handling systems to be general or configured for a specific user or specific use such as financial transaction processing, airline reservations, enterprise data storage, or global communications. In addition, information handling systems may include or comprise a variety of hardware and software components that may be configured to process, store, and communicate information and may include one or more computer systems, data storage systems, and networking systems.
Computer systems, including servers and workstations, are often grouped in clusters to perform specific tasks. A server cluster is a group of independent servers that is managed as a single system and is characterized by high availability, manageability, and scalability, as compared with groupings of unmanaged servers. At a minimum, a server cluster includes two servers, which are sometimes referred to as nodes. In some configurations, the nodes or servers of the cluster are coupled to shared storage. The storage is known as shared storage because it is accessible by each of the nodes of the cluster. In a server cluster having two nodes, both of the nodes would be able to access the shared storage resources.
The nodes of the server cluster communicate with one another to manage the operation of the cluster server and the shared storage resources. In some configurations, the nodes of the server cluster communicate with each other through a communications link that passes through the shared storage resources. As an example, the shared storage resources may comprise multiple disk enclosures housing, each of which may house one or more storage drives. The nodes of the server cluster may communicate with one another by transmitting communications via the communications links that interconnect the multiple disk enclosures of the shared storage resources.
If communication links between disk enclosures are broken or otherwise inoperative, the nodes of the server cluster may be prevented from communicating with one another. In this circumstance, even though the nodes of the server cluster cannot communicate with one another, the nodes may nevertheless be able to access at least a portion of the shared storage resources. Because the nodes of the server cluster cannot communicate with one another, the nodes cannot collectively manage the logical ownership of shared storage resources or changes to the configuration of the shared storage resources. As such, one node can make changes to the logical ownership of shared storage resources or changes to the configuration of the shared storage resources without notifying or receiving the approval of the other node. In this state, a split brain condition can occur in which there is a risk of corrupting the data, the disk configuration, or both.
In accordance with the present disclosure, a system and method is disclosed for failure recovery and communications in a shared storage system. The shared storage system includes at least two host nodes, each of which includes two ports. Each of the ports of each of the nodes is coupled to input ports of a storage enclosure. The input ports of the storage enclosures are in turn coupled to one another to form a communications links between each of the host nodes. When the communications links between the host nodes fail, the host nodes are able to pass configuration information to each other by saving configuration information to a central location in a shared storage, such as a dedicated location in one of the storage drives of the storage enclosure that is directly coupled to both host nodes. The host nodes are able to force their peer nodes to read configuration changes before accessing possibly corrupted data from a previous configuration.
The system and method disclosed herein is technically advantageous because it provides a technique for communication between the nodes of a system despite the loss of the conventional communications link between the nodes. Thus, despite the loss of an established communications link between the nodes, the nodes can nevertheless pass configuration information between themselves by use of a reservation system and a central location in shared storage. Thus, in the event of a loss of a communications link between the nodes, the risk of storage corruption is diminished, as the nodes can communication configuration information to one another.
Another technical advantage of the system and method disclosed herein is that the system and method disclosed herein does not otherwise interfere with the operation of the network and prevents each node from taking action that may result in the corruption of the storage configuration of the network. A reservation system is put in place to alert each node to the existence of configuration information saved to shared storage. Because of the reservation system, a node cannot take action until recognizing the existence of the configuration saved to shared storage. Other technical advantages will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art in view of the following specification, claims, and drawings.
A more complete understanding of the present embodiments and advantages thereof may be acquired by referring to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numbers indicate like features, and wherein:
For purposes of this disclosure, an information handling system may include any instrumentality or aggregate of instrumentalities operable to compute, classify, process, transmit, receive, retrieve, originate, switch, store, display, manifest, detect, record, reproduce, handle, or utilize any form of information, intelligence, or data for business, scientific, control, or other purposes. For example, an information handling system may be a personal computer, a network storage device, or any other suitable device and may vary in size, shape, performance, functionality, and price. The information handling system may include random access memory (RAM), one or more processing resources such as a central processing unit (CPU) or hardware or software control logic, ROM, and/or other types of nonvolatile memory. Additional components of the information handling system may include one or more disk drives, one or more network ports for communication with external devices as well as various input and output (I/O) devices, such as a keyboard, a mouse, and a video display. The information handling system may also include one or more buses operable to transmit communications between the various hardware components.
In the example of
As an example, if the links between enclosure interface controller 27 and enclosure interface controller 25 fails, and if the link between enclosure interface controller 26 and enclosure interface controller 24 also fails, node 12 a cannot communicate with node 12 b through the enclosure interface controllers. Also, if disk enclosure 16 a fails, node 12 a would not be able to communicate with node 12 b through the enclosure interface controllers. In this circumstance, there is not a path through the enclosure interface controller that would allow for the passage of a communication between the two nodes of the server cluster. Although the two nodes cannot communicate with one another, the nodes can nevertheless access disk enclosure 16 b and disk enclosure 16 c, thereby raising the risk that the data or configuration of these disks could be corrupted as a result of the inability of the nodes to communicate with one another for the purpose of managing the shared storage resources.
Despite the broken links between adjacent disk enclosures, the storage controllers can communicate with one another through a shared drive that is accessible to both storage controllers. Thus, so long as there is one shared drive that is accessible to both, the storage controllers are able to communicating by passing communications as messages saved to a reserved space on a drive of the mutually accessible disk enclosure. Shown in
When a storage controller makes a change to the configuration of the shared storage resources of the network, the storage controller places a communication in the shared repository 31. The placement of the communication in the mailbox in turn forces the other storage controller to read the communication before issuing any access commands (read or write commands). Shown in
If it is determined at step 32 that the nodes cannot communicate with one another through the enclosure interface controllers, the initiating node issues a command, such as a Persistent Reserve command, that causes the other nodes to enter a state in which the other nodes are prevented from reading from or writing to the disks that are the subject of the configuration change. The initiating node next makes the configuration change at step 38 and then places a communication in storage mailbox 31 of each affected peer node.
The system described herein provides a repository within a shared storage disk of the network for passing configuration communications between the nodes of the network. Thus, the nodes of the network may communicate configuration information to one another despite the failure of the conventional communication links of the network. Although the system and method disclosed herein has been described with reference to network having an SAS architecture, it should be recognized that the system and method may be employed in other networks in which inoperative links may prevent the nodes of the network from communicating with one another. It should also be understood that the system and method disclosed herein is not limited in its application to networks having only two nodes. Rather, the system and method disclosed herein may be used in network that includes multiple storage controllers. In the event of a failure in such a network, the nodes of the network would communicate with one another through a node that is accessible to each of the nodes of the network. Although the present disclosure has been described in detail, it should be understood that various changes, substitutions, and alterations can be made hereto without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US8495412||Sep 10, 2010||Jul 23, 2013||International Business Machines Corporation||Autonomous propagation of virtual input/output (VIO) operation(s) to second VIO server (VIOS) due to a detected error condition at a first VIOS|
|US8560628||Jan 11, 2011||Oct 15, 2013||International Business Machines Corporation||Supporting autonomous live partition mobility during a cluster split-brained condition|
|US8726274||Sep 10, 2010||May 13, 2014||International Business Machines Corporation||Registration and initialization of cluster-aware virtual input/output server nodes|
|U.S. Classification||714/4.1, 709/213, 709/214|
|Cooperative Classification||G06F11/0727, G06F11/0778|
|Apr 14, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: DELL PRODUCTS L.P., TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:NGUYEN, NAM V.;CHERIAN, JACOB;REEL/FRAME:017774/0802;SIGNING DATES FROM 20060411 TO 20060412
|Sep 7, 2010||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Feb 19, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Jan 2, 2014||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., AS COLLATERAL AGENT, NORTH
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Effective date: 20131029
Owner name: BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON TRUST COMPANY, N.A., AS FI
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Owner name: BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT, TE
Free format text: PATENT SECURITY AGREEMENT (ABL);ASSIGNORS:DELL INC.;APPASSURE SOFTWARE, INC.;ASAP SOFTWARE EXPRESS,INC.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:031898/0001
Effective date: 20131029